On Extremism and Defending the MRM

By Sammy Allouba 

Much has been made of the men’s rights movement, especially in light of Elliot Rodger’s murderous rampage at the University of California. Numerous websites, whether it’s the Daily Kos or even Cracked.com, the self-proclaimed geniuses of the Internet, are taking up arms, calling the men’s movement a hate group comprised of misogynistic whiners whose only goal is to oppress women and put men back in charge of the world. Here’s my response to the lot of you.

You’re all wrong.

The men’s rights movement is an equality movement that aims to address the inequalities suffered by men and boys via cultural change. Even feminists (athough typically not that vocal about it) acknowledge that male members of society suffer from their fair share of inequity and injustice. I’m not entirely clear on why fighting for the rights of men and boys is a problem. I’m also not entirely clear on why pointing out how feminism’s pervasive influence on society has contributed to this inequality is a problem and why, despite its claims to the contrary, feminism maintains these inequalities while professing to care about the suffering of male members of society. Mind you, feminism is not the only problem men have to put up with in the struggle for equality, as gynocentrism and tradcons are also part of the equation—but that’s a subject for another post.

It needs to be said that every movement, political group, religious group, or what have you will always have radicals within it. There will always be fringe members who say truly outlandish things and advocate for violent crime. Popular examples include New Black Panthers King Samir Shabazz and former Al Qaeda leader and Muslim extremist Osama bin Laden. In the realm of gender politics, we MRAs have our attention drawn primarily to radicals within the feminist movement, both past and present. Trust me when I say there’s half a library’s worth of quotations to choose from. These are women who advocated for violence against men, whether it was aggravated assault, murder, or even eugenics. Amazingly, some of the work is categorized as satire rather than the hateful vitriol it really is. The trouble today, however, is that these women are still taken seriously by the modern feminist movement. They are seen as heroes and revolutionaries of the movement, and the worst part is that this concept of radical feminism has reached some truly scary heights.

There are also radicals within the men’s rights movement—individuals who, for one reason or another, say some truly awful and misogynistic things. They do exist—you can find them all over the Internet—and we must acknowledge them. The main difference when distinguishing feminism from the men’s movement is that within feminism, misandry is tolerated and even legitimized under the guise of, you guessed it, satire. If the hashtag #killallwomen was trending, I think it’s pretty safe to say Internet feminists would be up in arms, with the female blogosphere screaming about the neverending online harassment of women, no matter how many times someone (a man or a woman) might say it’s only satire. MRAs and anti-feminists alike will call out these hateful online trends and use them as proof that feminism isn’t interested in the well-being of men as they are only further spreading misandry. The usual response from the feminist camp is the world-famous “not all feminists are like that.”

In the men’s rights movement, however, we do not tolerate misogyny. Yes, we do call it out. Hell, I made a vlog on this very subject and voiced my acceptance of the term “NAWALT (not all women are like that).” I stand by what I said in that video, even though I was roundly set upon by the manosphere. Paul Elam has repeatedly said he will not tolerate misogyny on A Voice for Men and is quick to ban anyone who would try to break that rule—and for good reason. Violence and hatred will not lead to a productive discussion. It’s part of the reason why we have such a hard time taking feminism seriously. Radicals are calling the shots while moderates have become the fringe group.

The people who do the talking within our movement (the heavyweights, as I like to refer to them)—the Paul Elams, the Dean Esmays, the Karen Straughans, the Janet Bloomfields, the John Hemblings, and so on—are not radicals. They are not violence-advocating individuals who have an axe to grind against the female sex like so many feminists seem to have against the male sex. They are certainly vocal and are not afraid to speak their minds, but that doesn’t make them radicals. If being loud makes someone a radical, then George W. Bush Jr. should’ve been one since he never shut up about terrorism and protecting America. I feel like this is something I shouldn’t have to point out, especially since I’m positive these folks don’t need me to defend them. After all, who am I beyond just another Internet blogger? But when ignorant ideologues and trolls insult people I respect, I feel compelled to say something.

The most radical thing any of these people have ever said is that women are human beings with a brain, capable of taking responsibility for their lives, that men and boys are human beings who matter, and that feminism has gone over the edge. But even those statements are enough for Paul Elam to be labeled a “woman-hating prick.” Disagreeing with society’s mainstream view that women are helpless victims and men are evil oppressors does not make someone radical. It just makes them a person with a different opinion.

On Elliot Rodgers and the resulting fallout

By Sammy Allouba

On Friday, May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death in his apartment and fatally shot and killed three people at the University of California. His victims were four men and two women. A lot of details have emerged since the mass-killing, and as one would expect, so have a lot theories and ideas about how and why it happened. They range from Rodger being mentally ill to him being a product of societal masculinity, born out of pure misogyny. I personally believe—like I do of all mass-killers, or, really, of anyone who commits a crime such as this—that his act of deviance is a product of a whole lot of shit that no one has looked into yet, and given that we need a scapegoat, an easy reason to figure out why this happened, the mainstream media is using the MRM as that scapegoat. Articles, which can be found in the lowbar to this post’s accompanying YouTube video, claim that Rodger was an MRA who subscribed to MRM channels on his YouTube account. This is relevant, they claim, because, according to them (being the brilliant genius journalists they are), the MRM promotes misogyny and breeds a hatred of women that is unprecedented. Of course, absolutely zero proof of this exists, as RazorBladeKandy2 has shown in his video analysis of the murders, but that does not matter one iota because, as we all know, feminists do not care about facts and evidence.

On the other side of things, people are claiming that Rodger was mentally unstable and acted upon his own violent urges given his high level of narcissism. I’m not a mental health expert of any sort, but I think it’s hard to argue against that point. Rodger was very clearly a nutcase beyond all nutcases who seriously needed help. I acknowledge that his parents sent him to professional help, but all I’m going to say is that it wasn’t enough, as far as I can tell. He needed something more than that, but what that is, I do not know.

As psychotic and crazy as I believe Rodger was, his actions were his own, and to blame any single influence is short-sighted. I cannot, and will not, deny that he was certainly a misogynist because he makes it very clear in his haunting manifesto that he rejected women because they rejected him. He felt entitled to love, a love he wasn’t getting from anyone, but from women in particular. Also, I think we cannot deny he was misandric, given that he slaughtered more men than women in his murderous bout, and he makes it very clear in his manifesto that he hated any guy who was able to get women because he felt so superior to them. Seriously, his ramblings sound like something out of a James Bond villain’s playbook. So which is it? Was he a misogynist? Was he a misandrist? Was he simply psychotic? Or is it any of the other usual questions, such as being able to access firearms too easily, or being abused as a child, and so on?

I am going to side with my inner Dude. In the film The Big Lebowski, while The Dude (played by Jeff Bridges) frantically explains to the wealthy Mr. Lebowski the reason why a planned ransom exchange did not occur, he blurts out, “New shit has come to light!” I believe we should follow the Dude’s lead and wait for new shit to come to light before we can really make informed decisions about Elliot Rodger’s actions. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, and you feel the need to speak out against the negativity the MRM is receiving in light of this tragedy—as bane666au asked us to do in his most recent video—I recommend offering, in a gentle manner (and I can’t stress that part enough), facts to the people you’re debating with. A lot of feminists are running with this story, along with the #YesAllWomen hashtag, claiming that it is indicative of the violence that all women experience on a daily basis and if they aren’t experiencing it, then they simply live in fear of it. When this happens, offer them statistics that show what we MRAs already know: men are the majority victims of violent crime, and women don’t have a real justification of living in fear, which is actually due to the never-ending hysteria about female domestic abuse or rape in society. To hear a feminist describe women’s experiences in society, you’d think a woman couldn’t set foot outside her own home, lest she be ravaged by six million men waiting  outside her door, tongues hanging out, drooling incessantly, mumbling, “WOOOOMMMMAAAAANNN!! MUST, FEEEEEED, MUST RAAAAAPE, PUUUUUSSSSSYYYYY, SOOOO GOOOOD!!!”

We can turn the tide, guys, and we will in time. But let’s not get wrapped up in the emotional tide that is flowing in light of Elliot Rodger’s criminal actions and allow ourselves to only add fuel to the anti-MRM fire. Let’s wait until new shit comes to light, and then make real decisions about how society can move forward from this tragedy.

A response to the National Post’s Robyn Urback

By Sammy Allouba   Last week in her National Post article, Robyn Urback asked the question “What part of ‘don’t show your underwear’ is oppressive and sexist?” Well, Robyn, the truth is … none of it. There is absolutely nothing oppressive and sexist about being modest and respecting basic dress codes, especially in educational institutions. But when you’re an ideologue with an axe to grind, suddenly everything becomes oppressive and sexist. I don’t mean you specifically, Robyn. I’m speaking in general terms.

The quote you included from Lauren Strapagiel—in which she says, “What this tells young girls is that their bodies … are a threat. … That their bodies are offensive”—seems to imply that girls can do whatever they want, whenever they want, without having to worry about rules and regulations. I think the larger issue here, for me at least, is how this degrades young girls and teaches them not to have any self-respect. I find it ironic, given that feminism is supposed to be about empowering girls and women. How exactly do you empower someone by telling them to behave like a child?

Strapagiel seems to be forgetting a common-sense guideline that you wrote about in your article: dressing appropriately for one’s environment. I’d also like to add that a person’s body language is equally as important as the way they dress, and subsequently, the way they present themselves will tell the world about how they view themselves. If you choose to wear a business suit or dress, walk tall, and are well groomed, people will look at you with high regard because you are clearly demonstrating that you care about your appearance. However, if you are the sort of person who dresses sloppily and wears runners all of the time and you walk with a bit of a waddle, sorry to say it, folks, but people won’t think too highly of you even if you think it’s unfair. We are programmed to react differently to those we deem to be successful, and how you dress affects those perceptions. The story is no different for young boys and girls. Boys who wear their pants low or girls who wear their skirts high will be viewed in a less than favourable light.

I also think that this topic ties into the larger issue of rape. What follows is written in a very unapologetic manner, and I’d like to preface it by saying that absolutely no one ever deserves, asks, or begs to be raped. If someone rapes you, then they are at fault and should most certainly be punished to the fullest extent of the law, provided that the necessary evidence is available when a case goes to trial. However, there are steps that people can take to minimize their chances of being the victim of a violent crime. It’s not that dressing in a provocative manner is in and of itself the cause of rape. That’s not it at all, so don’t misunderstand me. But when a predator is on the prowl for prey, that predator will select the prey that looks to be the most vulnerable. Factors that can contribute to that vulnerability include the way someone dresses because, again, it tells that predator how its prey wants to be seen. I know. It’s not pretty. It’s extremely unfair and downright aggravating, to say the least. But that’s the way our brains function.

Telling girls especially that they don’t need to adjust their dress to suit their environment isn’t empowering. It’s actually quite insulting and, dare I say it, misogynistic. Teaching someone to be a child rather than a responsible, mature adult doesn’t do them any favours. We hold boys, however, to a higher standard. We tell young boys to pull their pants up or not to wear gang symbols. We expect them to grow up into “respectable young men,” yet, according to Strapagiel’s words, young girls should be free to do as they please and show off their bodies and be liberal with themselves. Girls shouldn’t be ashamed of their bodies, and as the old adage goes, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” If a grown woman wants to dress in a manner that shows off her body, that’s her choice, and, I hope, she understands what her dressing in a certain manner means to the outside world, even if she claims not to care what other people will think of her. I would not grant this same kind of freedom to a teenaged girl, however, because she is still learning about the world and about how people interact with each other. Also, before someone screams “double standard,” yes, I would absolutely hold teenaged boys to the same standard. This kind of reasoning applies to both sexes.

If I ever have kids, I will raise them to be respectable people and teach them good moral values. That includes respecting themselves so that they will in turn be respected by the people around them. If you want to get anywhere in life, you will have to care, to some extent, about how other people view you because it will affect your future.

Original article: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/05/30/robyn-urback-what-part-of-dont-show-your-underwear-is-oppressively-sexist/